After the re-conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, and the subsequent global outcry for this ambiguous decision, Turkey strives now to uphold a propaganda campaign in order to demonstrate its supposed religious diversity and tolerance.
The five minute video which is entirely subtitled in Greek, was published on the Twitter account of Fahrettin Altun, a German-born Turk that is the head of media and communications for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Turkey, under the leadership of the President [Erdoğan], took unprecedented steps in order to promote the principle of equality and to preserve the cultural and religious diversity of our Nation. This episode focuses on the Roman Orthodox Community,” Altun posted on Twitter in Greek.
However, many on Twitter were quick to highlight that Turkey has no equality and religious diversity, especially in the aftermath of the Hagia Sophia conversion.
Professor Nikos Michailidis responded back in Turkish saying “First you commit genocide, you clear the whole of Anatolia of Christians, you turn churches into barns, then the pogroms, violence, etc. , you isolate and assimilate the Alevis, you kill the Kurds, you put pressure on all the local peoples and then with this video you do propaganda, supposedly about multiculturalism etc. terrorist fascist mouse.”
Önce soykırım yap, Anadoluyu tüm hristyanlardan arındır, kiliselerini ahır yap, sonra pogromlar, şiddet vs, Alevileri tecrit ve asimile et, Kürtleri öldür, diğer tüm yerli halklara başkı kur, sonra bu videoyla propaganda yap, güya multiculturalism vs…terörist fasist fare https://t.co/akRQlCg5f6
— Nikos Michailidis (@NikosMichailid4) July 28, 2020
He of course was referring to the fact that between 1914 and 1923, around three million Christians suffered genocide first by Ottoman and later on (1919 onwards) by Kemalist forces.
In the aftermath of the genocides, Christians were driven out of Turkey with the exception of those residing in Constantinople.
The ones who remained in Constantinople were of course not to remain for long safe. Despite being 120,000 people strong in 1955, following a brutal pogrom where Greeks were murdered and raped, and their shops looted, tens of thousands of Greeks fled to Greece and elsewhere abroad to escape Turkish barbarity.
Today, approximately only 4,000 Christian Greeks remain in Turkey.
Yet, after the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Greeks from Turkey, along with the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, the Turkish regime has attempted to demonstrate that it has tolerance and respect for religious diversity.